The International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) is the largest global grain-based trade event in North America. Every three years, the industry comes together at IBIE to experience the newest advances, participate in cutting-edge conference sessions and demos, conduct face-to-face meetings, and build relationships at high-level networking events. Trendspotting at IBIE in Las Vegas last week was deliciously fun and interesting. Let’s explore the top three trends that caught my attention.

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Customized and Personalized Baking

Today’s consumer wants to be personally engaged. From the base ingredients to the finishing touches, customized ingredients and products in baking were definitely a trend at IBIE. So much so, it’s the topic of my November Baker’s Journal Final Proof Column. At the Puratos booth, attendees got to experience the newly launched MyBreaD app. It’s a digital tool that is set to revolutionize customer service, tapping into growing consumer trends while retaining the quality and authenticity of traditional bread making.

The MyBreaD app allows customers to tailor their bread to their individual tastes and needs, built around three simple steps (a liquid, a filling, and a finishing touch). It offers the user a variety of wholesome ingredients from which they can craft their bread. Once you customize your bread via these three steps, the order is sent to the in-store baker. You then select the time and place to collect your bread and receive a personal notification when it’s fresh and ready to pick-up. Fun and delicious, I enjoyed my apple, cranberry, and gruyere bread designed by me and eaten by me!

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Simple Ingredients, Simple Label

Consumers across all age groups are on the continued quest to understand what ingredients are in their food and tend to prefer foods that are minimally processed. I’ve never been a fan of the term “clean label” however; it was used often in the education sessions and on the show floor to identify a label with simple, easy to understand ingredients.

Plant-based ingredients including ancient grains, pulses and seeds were very popular and positioned as simple, functioning ingredients for baking formulations. All these ingredients have been around for centuries and are viewed as natural and artisan by many consumers. Organic and certified non GMO options for all of these ingredients were available.

Responding to consumer demand, Barry Callebaut launched their Natural Dark (non-alkalized) Cocoa at IBIE. Through a proprietary, minimally processed technique, this ingredient is their darkest and most premium flavoured cocoa to date.

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Donuts & Cakes from Plant-based to Decadent

Yes, it’s a baking show with all the cookies, pies, cakes and donuts you could image! But what I found interesting was such a range of each at the show to meet the different consumer preferences. Forget the typical boring donut you get at the local coffee chains, there was everything from vegan donuts with beet icing to decadent over-the-top candied bacon, cream filled, caramel iced. And the cakes – many of them works of art, I couldn’t imagine eating them.

Final Thought

Companies in the baking sector are responding to range of tastes and demands from consumers. From customizable products and innovative better-for-you ingredients to permissible indulgent and full blown decadent desserts, IBIE was definitely a first-rate source of trending information and buffet for the senses!

Jane and her team would love to assist your company to get into the latest food, baking and health trends or speak at your upcoming event!
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